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Southern California beach towns love their wine

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A personal value to me is to blog five days a week, a goal I’ve mostly achieved since 2008. However! Not every day is it possible, especially when I’m on the road, and my hosts keep me to a tight schedule that usually starts early in the morning and can last until nighttime. So that’s why I didn’t post yesterday. Mea culpa. But here I am, in my Manhattan Beach hotel on Wednesday by 6 p.m., which means I can get a good night’s sleep and have time for this post, which is an account of my current trip in Southern California.

On Tuesday night I went to a meeting of the Women’s Wine Alliance,

Women's

a wonderful group of gals who are professionals in the wine industry, but they also do very great charity work. We were scheduled to meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m., but at 9:30 at night we were still gleefully at it because the conversations were so wonderful. I don’t think anyone wanted to leave but eventually it was time, and besides, I was happy to collapse into bed at my hotel, to get ready for a very early morning appointment.

The next morning, my pal Cory Rowin

CoryRowin

picked me up at my hotel in San Diego at 7 a.m. and drove me to the local Fox-TV affiliate for a live interview. If you’ve never been in a Green Room on a morning T.V. show, they were also having a fashion show, an animal show, and a segment about baby quadruplets—so you can imagine! This was the wonderful lizard, Daisy, I met,

LizardBoy

who was really as sweet and affectionate as could be despite her Jurassic look; it took some doing to get me to hold her but I fell in love as soon as she crawled up my breast and was just a loving little baby. And this was yours truly being interviewed by the morning anchor, Raul.

FoxInterview

I’ve been on T.V. a couple times in my career and it’s always fun. We talked about wine, which the whole staff seemed to be interested in. Of course! Wine is interesting stuff.

Then we drove up the coast to Searsucker Restaurant, where we were set up for a tasting. I loved their fish pond,

SearsuckerFish

and we had interested, and interesting, guests who seemed to want to know all about being a wine critic and all that jazz. Don’t get me started!

SearsuckerPeopleThen it was up to La Jolla,

LaJollaBeach

a town I haven’t been to for years. These beach towns are very wealthy and beautiful and on this perfect summer day all of them—Laguna, Huntington and the others—were Paradise.

Then it was up through San Clemente, a beach town I’ve only known as Richard Nixon’s California home, where his idea of relaxation was to walk on the beach in his suit and formal shoes, but to take off his tie! We also went to a little restaurant, Red Table,

RED TABLE

in Huntington Beach, where I thoroughly enjoyed the New Jersey GM, Donna, and her bar manager, Jeremiah.

RedTablePeople

A good time was had by all!

At some point we hit up Watermarc Restaurant, in Laguna Beach, which is maybe the quintessential surfer-millionaire SoCal beach town.

WatermarcLaguna

Our lunch, especially the lamb chops, which I seldom have because it’s really hard to get good chops, was spectacular.

I so enjoy these trips because they get me out of Oakland and my comfort zone into the real world of restaurants, bars, bartenders, floor staff and wine stores, where real people who love wine work to sell it and, hopefully, buy some Jackson Family Wines wines. Every stop is different: a different play, a new cast, a new plot, a new location. And there I am, thrown into the narrative. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

  1. Thank you Steve for a wonderful and informed evening at the Women’s Wine Alliance. A special thanks for the introduction of the 2013 Champ de Reves Pinot Noir, loved it. I hope in your travels back to San Diego, you can come out to Highland Valley and meet some of the owners and winemakers braving a new industry here in San Diego County.

  2. Dear Denise, Thanks! Meeting the Women’s Wine Alliance was a highlight of my trip.

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